BYU Small Favs
USAFA, CO - After finishing the home portion of its schedule undefeated for a third consecutive season, the remainder of BYU's year likely won't be as easy.
Looking to remain in the hunt for a share of a third consecutive Mountain West title, the 16th-ranked Cougars visit Air Force on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have BYU -4 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on BYU -4 (View College Football bet percentages).
BYU (9-1, 5-1) is in third place in the conference, one game behind Utah and a half-game back of TCU, which handed the Cougars their only loss of the season.
The Cougars have won three straight since that 32-7 defeat, including a 41-12 victory over San Diego State last Saturday that gave them a 19-0 home record over the last three seasons.
BYU has one of the nation's most prolific offenses, averaging 443.9 total yards per game and 314.8 through the air.
Quarterback Max Hall had another strong performance last Saturday, completing 25-of-30 for 317 yards and three touchdowns. He has thrown for 12 TDs and only one interception in his last three games.
"It was nice to have an all-around team effort," Hall said. "Our defense played well and I think that boosted their confidence. But our offense has got to keep on rolling."
Hall has completed 71.1 percent of his passes for 32 touchdowns, 3,070 yards and seven interceptions this season.
The Cougars gave up only 280 yards of total offense to the Aztecs after allowing more than 400 in the previous three games. BYU forced San Diego State into four turnovers and kept the Aztecs out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
"We knew coming out today we were going to hit hard and get after them," said senior linebacker David Nixon, who had an interception and 14 tackles in his final home game. "Fortunately enough they turned the ball over and we were able to capitalize on it."
BYU closes its schedule on the road, first against Air Force (8-2, 5-1), and then against the Utes on Nov. 22. The Cougars, who have won the Mountain West title the last two years, have no chance at winning the league crown outright this season.
"Now it's back in our hands, depending on what we do. We hold our own destiny and we realize that," Nixon said. "You don't have to depend on anybody else to do anything."
A matchup with Air Force usually brings positive results for the Cougars, who have won the last four meetings by an average of 20.5 points.
The Falcons, though, have one of the conference's best defenses, holding opponents to 17.3 points and 304.0 yards of offense.
They had another solid effort last Saturday in a 38-17 win over Colorado State, racking up 455 yards of total offense. Air Force outscored the Rams 17-0 in the second half while Tim Jefferson threw for two touchdowns and Asher Clark rushed for 136 yards and a pair of scores.
Air Force is seeking its first six-game win streak since it opened 2002 with six straight victories. A victory Saturday would tie the school record for conference wins set last season.
"You look over the last five weeks and you find different ways to win, and what we've been able to do is keep a glue," coach Troy Calhoun said. "It's not easy to do in this day and age ... When you've got 19- and 20-year-old young men, sometimes their head can swell or sometimes the index finger wants to go out and say here's a problem. And that's just maturity in a lot of ways. But we did."
Air Force has lost nine straight against ranked opponents since beating No. 23 California in 2002. Included in that stretch is a 30-23 loss to then-No. 20 Utah on Sept. 20.
BYU is 22-6 all time against Air Force, winning 31-6 last year. In Colorado Springs, the Cougars are 10-3.
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
BYU is 8-6 against the spread versus AIR FORCE since 1992
BYU is 9-5 straight up against AIR FORCE since 1992
9 of 12 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 2-0 against the spread versus AIR FORCE over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 2-0 straight up against AIR FORCE over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at AIR FORCE since 1992
BYU is 4-3 against the spread versus AIR FORCE since 1992
BYU is 4-3 straight up against AIR FORCE since 1992
4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at AIR FORCE over the last 3 seasons.
BYU is 1-0 against the spread versus AIR FORCE over the last 3 seasons
BYU is 1-0 straight up against AIR FORCE over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[WR] Luke Ashworth injured last game, %27?%27 - Undisclosed - 11/02/08
[CB] G Pittman has decided to transfer. - Academics - 10/21/08
[DB] Scott Johnson injured last game, downgraded to expected to miss next
[DB] Brandon Bradley injured last game, upgraded to probable. - Leg - 11/0
[DB] David Tafuna missed last game, upgraded to probable. - Shoulder - 11/
[LB] Dan Van Sweden expected to miss entire season - Leg - 08/16/08
[QB] Eric Herbort has left team - Academics - 09/20/08
[WR] Spencer Armstrong is upgraded to %27?%27 - Fibula - 11/07/08
[TE] Jared Tew missed last game %27?%27 - Abdominal - 11/07/08
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Posted: 11/11/08 8:15 PM